Episode 160 | March 19, 2019

The Psychology of Eating with Macy Graham


A Personal Note from Orion

Food is more than just fuel. There are so many wonderful ways in which food can be attached to our relationships, ourselves, our well being. It doesn’t alway have to be about what “is and isn’t good for you”, or how much of something you can have, or only eating and drinking “green”. When you start imposing restrictions on yourself with food, your eating habits become something of a chore, and that’s when you can fall into some unhealthy patterns.

I try to have a good relationship with food – at times it can be extremely comforting to me, like when I go back home to Israel and my mom cooks my favorite foods. It’s so comforting and I feel so loved and nurtured, but I do inevitably gain a few pounds for that. And is that necessarily a bad thing?

My guest today, Macy Graham, explains how to find the balance between allowing yourself to enjoy and indulge with food, and recognizing harmful eating patterns that are not only destroying your health, but you self-esteem as well. Macy has overcome her own binge eating habits and help women to do the same through her yoga and coaching practice.

 

 

About Today’s Show

My mother is a very good cook and every time I go back home and visit, she makes me my favorite dishes, and it makes me so happy. Every delicious bite takes me back to my childhood and wraps me in a sense of belonging, being loved, and cared for. I’m also a foodie. I love to travel, explore exotic foods and flavors, and experience different cultures through their food. Food is such a huge part of our lives. We don’t only eat to sustain life, we share food at our social gatherings, and most of us have an emotional connection to food. Sometimes it can become an addiction as we use food to fill a void or for emotional support. My guest, Macy Graham, is an online yoga teacher, mind-body eating coach, and lifestyle designer at Hungryoga. She helps women resolve their eating challenges and transform that power into creating a life and career they love. In today’s episode, we’ll talk about how to build a happy and healthy relationship with food. And now, without further ado, on to the show. Hey Macy and welcome to Stellar Life podcast. How are you doing today?

Good. Thanks, Orion. I’m happy to be here.

I’m glad to have you here. Before we start, why don’t you to tell us a little bit about yourself?

Sure. I am a yoga teacher, a mind-body eating coach, lifestyle design coach, and my business is called Hungryoga. I live in Littleton, Colorado. I just love to be outside. I’m always with my little puppy, Molly. She’s my little yoga dog. I love to cook and just living an active and healthy lifestyle.

That’s amazing. It sounds very picturesque. It sounds like you have the perfect life.

Well, probably not perfect but I do live straight by the mountains and it’s beautiful here. I’m originally from Kansas. I’m used to looking around and seeing a lot of flat land and nothing around me. I moved to Colorado about five years ago and I do not plan on moving. I love it here.

Yeah, Colorado is magical. What made you interested in the psychology of eating? Do you have a personal story that relates to that?

Yeah, of course, I do. I used to struggle with binge eating. It didn’t really happen until I got to college and I was living on my own. I was actually a collegiate track and field athlete, too. I was just coming from that perfectionistic mindset and comparing myself to the other women that were athletes. We would always get weighed. We would get weighed about every three months, weighed and measured. It really just started the spiral effect that I had never really felt before in my life. I grew up on a farm and my mom had a huge garden. I never really struggled with food or body image stuff growing up or in high school, but as soon as I got to that college age, I started to just feel like overnight, just with all the stress of being in school, living on my own, and making all these changes in your early twenties. Those were really tough times. That’s what led me to first do yoga. I actually became a yoga teacher first. I thought that that would help and it really did help with the mind and body connection, but I was still struggling with binge eating even through my yoga teacher training. I knew that I needed to learn more and that I wasn’t quite done yet. I found the Institute for the Psychology of Eating which they’re actually here in Boulder, Colorado. I did my training through them to become a mind-body eating coach.

What did your binge eating use to look like?

I’ll never forget the first time that I binged was on my roommate’s cereal which was Special K, which actually is not that great for you ladies. It’s actually pretty addictive and peanut butter. Binge eating is usually done in secret and that’s exactly when it would happen. It was when no one else was around. I was sneaking around and eating all of these foods that I wasn’t giving myself 100% full permission to have. That’s why there was that big pull to eat so much of it because I wouldn’t allow myself to eat it, yet I would still go ahead and eat it anyways.

We try too hard to eat perfectly, have the perfect body, and live a perfect life instead of just being ourselves. Click To Tweet

Did you steal her cereal?

Yeah, I actually do. I don’t eat Special K anymore. I do have cereal occasionally. It definitely looks different now. I eat it with almond milk. I don’t really do all that much dairy even though I do love some specialty cheeses every now and then. Now, just by learning the principles of eating psychology in mind, body, and nutrition, and that whole fact of just giving myself permission and trusting myself around food, has allowed me to really eat whatever I want. Yeah, I do have cereal still, but I don’t remember the last time I binged, which is an amazing feeling. I think eight years ago I would have said, “If I could say that and know that I was going to overcome that, that would just make my world.”

Yeah, I can imagine the stress of being compared to your team members every other week or every week and checking each other’s bodies. All of a sudden, your value is not about your talents, it’s also about your appearance and your body. That can be very nerve-racking.

Yeah, definitely. It’s such a competitive thing. College sports feel a lot different than high school sports. I would say to any woman that is struggling with that and maybe as a competitive athlete, be kind to yourself and reach out for podcasts just like this, or more holistic ways of taking care of yourself because it does feel pretty masculine in that world.

How so?

Well for me, I ran track and field. We lifted weights a lot. It was very high intensity. We over exercise. We would exercise maybe four hours a day. A lot of times, we would do two days. It was just very stressful on your body. When you put your body in a stress response like that, you’re actually going to hold on to weight. You can actually over-exercise and you’re trying to lose weight, but the stress of you over-exercising and over-doing it is putting your body in that stress response. Your nervous system is in the sympathetic nervous system dominance and it’s just holding on for dear life because you’re in that flight response.

Right.

That’s why I love yoga and that’s why I love to include yoga in all of my programs because it reminds us to breathe. It reminds us to tune-in to how we’re really feeling in that moment, to take a deep breath, a step back, and to see what’s coming up for us right now. What’s showing up for us in this present moment because that’s really all we have, it’s that moment, right here, right now.

Yeah, that sounds really different than the environment you’re describing where it’s competitive. The girls probably are detached from their bodies because they want to achieve so much and they just go. You end up so depleted emotionally that you go and you binge eat. You feel all over the place probably on a physical and emotional level.

Yeah, 100%.

Why do you think is the reason that women eat emotionally, emotional eating?

I think it really all stems from perfectionism. We’re trying to eat perfectly, have the perfect body, and live a perfect life, instead of just being ourselves, giving ourselves some grease, and allowing ourselves to truly live the life that we want to live. Do you really want to eat like that all the time? Does that really make you feel good or is it just stressing you out more than the good health benefits that it’s giving you? My teacher, Mark David, says, “Are you going to be better off eating a salad? You’re just eating it because you think it’s good for you, but you’re not really enjoying it. You’re not getting any pleasure from it. You’re eating it quickly and you’re just doing it because it’s on your meal plan. Or would you be more satisfied, would you be more nourished by eating what you really want, which may be a turkey burger with a side salad or a wrap with broccoli? Whatever it is for you.” This isn’t giving anyone full permission to, “Hey, you can eat all the fried food you want and you’re going to feel great.” It’s not necessarily that, but can you love and trust yourself? Can you take three deep breaths before you decide what you’re going to eat? Can you slow down with your meals? Can you invite pleasure in?

A lot of times we’re binge eating, we’re emotionally eating on the food, the pleasurable foods. The chocolate, the cookies, the muffins, the things that we consider bad. I like to drop the label around good foods and bad foods because we’re moralizing food. Food is food. Yes, there are some things that are more nutritionally sound than others, but if you can drop the judgment and the idea of good food versus bad food, and allow yourself to have those pleasurable foods, then you’re not going to eat as much of it. You’re going to eat it slowly and just suck all of the love and pleasure out of that dark chocolate, truly close your eyes, notice the texture, be in the experience of eating it. Then you’re not going to need as much of it.

A lot of times we’re binge eating, we’re emotionally eating on the food, the pleasurable foods.

Yeah. The moment something is the forbidden fruit or somebody makes it the forbidden fruit, we will crave it more and we’ll eat more of it because you’re not allowed to do it. I myself, I have a lot of rebel in me. If a vegan tells me not to eat meat, I will go and eat meat three times a day, just because they forced me or put me on a guilt trip.

Right. That’s why it is so much about our mindset and about the thoughts that we’re thinking. That voice, that inner voice, that inner rebel that you’re talking about, what is it saying? We can be so mean to ourselves. We would never say some of the things that we say to ourselves to our best friend. How can you become your own best friend again? If you’re not your own best friend, you’re screwed. You are the only person that is always going to be there for you.

We talked about some of the major reasons why people binge eat. One is body image. Actually, the one reason is suppression, when you feel suppressed. The external environment tells you – you cannot do it. You’re suppressed because of stress and pressure. I guess the reason why yoga and breathing work so well in helping this process is, when you are mindful in the moment, you are aware of your beingness, and you’re not in the past or in the future, there is no suppression. It’s just you with yourself connected to your highest good in the moment.

Right and yoga is the most beautiful way to embody, to be in the body that you have right now because most of the time it’s 10 pounds, 10 measly pounds is what is making their life miserable. They won’t give themselves permission to do anything, have anything, or become the person they want to be until they lose that 10 pounds. What they don’t realize is that they can’t lose the 10 pounds until they get into the body they have right now. I always say that, you don’t have to love the body that you’re in right now. Our body shapeshifts so much throughout our lives and I’ve been there. I have felt 10 pounds heavy. I know what that feels like. But I also know that you can’t shed from the outside in. You have to shed from the inside out.

Most of the time, if you have 10 pounds to lose I bet eight pounds of it is emotional. If you do the inner work and you get clear on who you are, who you want to be, are you living the life that you want to be living? Are you working that job that you want to be working? Are you in the relationship that you want to be in? It’s not all about food. In fact, it’s about everything else and looking at all aspects of your life. When you work on all the areas of your life, then you’re not focusing on food so much. It can be nice. It can be nice to not focus on food so much and just allow it to come naturally. The weight just falls off when you start to align with who you really are.

What’s the first step if somebody’s binge eating. What is the first step for her to stop?

I think the first step is talking about it. Binge eating, as I said earlier, is usually done in secrecy and there’s a lot of guilt and shame around it. We don’t want to talk about it with anyone. I remember I was in my relationship that I’m in now with my husband. At that time, we were boyfriend and girlfriend, but we were living together, and I never talked to him about it. He had to have known about it. In fact, I know he knows about it because we’ve now talked about it, but at that time, I was so shameful about it that I never talked about it. I just was trying to figure it out on my own and everything I was doing wasn’t working, because I was trying to train for a sprint triathlon. I’m still over-exercising, I was still working the crappy job that I didn’t like, I was still working 15-hour days, and I was still living in the city that I didn’t enjoy. Talk about it with someone. Whether it’s a coach, or a friend, or your mom, start to talk about your struggles. You’ll feel this relief come off of your shoulders and out of your being and into the air. Right there, you’ll energetically feel five pounds lighter. I would say that that’s the first step.

Binge eating may seem like an emotional escape to your problems but it's really self-sabotage. Click To Tweet

Alright. I want to ask for more steps. You got in the awareness, you talk to a coach. Now what?

I would say the thing that your coach is probably going to tell you if you’re binge eating, the first thing she or he is going to have you work on is slowing down. It is impossible to binge eat in a slow state. It’s impossible. The only way you binge is if it’s fast, if it’s furious, if it’s ravenous, if there is that pull, that ravenous wolf behind you that is just ready to just eat all of the candy. There is this draw to this food and you feel out of control.

The first step is learning how do I slow down? How do I slow down with food? Some ways that I like to get homework for slowing down with food is breathing techniques. As simple as, can you take five deep breaths before you eat your food? How often are you not even making a plate, or when you’re just eating out of the fridge, or you’re making your plate, eating food as you’re making the plate or making the dinner and you’re not even sitting down, or you are sitting down, the TV is on, you have your phone connected to you, and you’re not even paying attention to what you’re eating? Take five deep breaths before you sit down at your plate and your dinner table, you take five deep breaths, and you’re disconnected from technology unless you want to play some music or light a candle. Just make it a nice warming environment. Something that feels like a slower pace. Experiment. This is all an experiment.

Yeah. I love the idea of mindfulness and breathing, and just being in the moment. Binging happens when you don’t think. It’s a reactive thing. You just react and you stuff your face before you’re even conscious that you were doing it. The moment you move into awareness, it’s not going to happen if this is what you really desire. But what if people struggle with food addiction where it’s hard for them to give up the idea of binging? It’s a part of their identity.

I just felt 10 things run through me I want to say about that. The first thing that I want to say, I’ve heard this before from my teachers and I do believe this, that food isn’t really an addiction. Food is actually something that we need to survive. We can be addicted to drugs, we can be addicted to alcohol, we can be addicted to caffeine, but can you really be addicted to food? It’s something that we have to have to survive. I understand what you’re saying. Binge eating is serving you. It’s just a shift in mindset. You can ask yourself in a journal, “How is this actually serving me right now?” because if you’re going through a really tough time, binge eating is actually a great substitute for love, for loss in your life. I think a big thing is money issues. Binge eating is showing up for you for a reason and you’re using it as a coping mechanism. It’s serving you in a way, but at the same time underneath it all, it is self-sabotage. Because it feels good at the moment, it’s giving you that release, but then afterward when you do come back to consciousness and you’re bloated, you feel like you need to throw up because you ate so much food, you are lethargic for the next two to three days, and you don’t want to eat for another day, it just repeats the cycle.

I need your help. I don’t binge eat, but I’m from Israel. Every time I go to visit my mom, I’ll come with the perfect diet. Everything is shaken every morning, the really healthy foods, and very conscious. I go gluten-free, then I go and I stay with my mom. My mom is a great cook. She cooks all my favorite foods and serves them to me which is like, “Oh my God, somebody’s cooking for me. This is awesome,” and all of a sudden there are all those amazing salads and challah bread. Tel Aviv is culinary heaven. I love eating. I love the food, the textures, the smells. When I go there, I always come back with probably four to six pounds heavier. Maybe I’m exaggerating, but no matter what I do, I am very good and disciplined because I go for a month, I’ll have a good and disciplined week for the first week and then all hell breaks loose. It’s not binge eating. It’s definitely in a way emotional, but it’s also very sensual to me. I love the feeling of it. I love the taste and the familiar smells. There is an emotional connection. There is the connection to home and a mother’s love. What would you suggest?

How long does it take you to get back to your set point?

Not too bad, a couple of months.

Okay. But it still doesn’t feel good to gain that weight even though every time you…

It does and it doesn’t. It’s like a badge of honor.

Well, you said it. Food is love, especially if it comes from your mother. It’s an emotional experience for you. I think in your mind you’re like, “I don’t get this all the time. My mother is cooking for me, it’s my favorite foods, and I’m at home. I need to take advantage of this right now.”

Pretty much so. Yeah.

What I want to remind you of is that you’ll always have another trip back home. That food is always going to be there for you. What I heard in your languaging when you’re like, “My first week is really disciplined, I do pretty good, but then all hell breaks loose.” Maybe you could experiment with giving yourself full permission to eat whatever you want, and focusing on the way you feel so then you don’t over-eat the foods, but still, give yourself full permission to have anything and everything that you want.

I love that shift in perspective. It goes back to restriction. I studied Cabal. In cabal, there are two terms, restriction versus suppression. Actually, what I was doing is not restricting, it was suppressing my feelings. Restricting is I restrict because I’m so happy to be fit. I restrict because I’m proud of myself and my achievements in my body. Not eating this type of food right now makes me feel good. I restrict because I take pride in it. When I suppress, it’s like I don’t want to suppress, but I know I should. When you shoot all over yourself, that’s what happens.

I hope that you still have that sensual, pleasurable experience.

Experiment with giving yourself full permission to eat whatever you want. Focus on the way you feel so then you don’t over-eat.

Always. Girl, I am sensual. I love food. One of the things that I really connect to is my body and I love to be in my body. I love to move my body. I love to eat. I love to feel. I’m all of the senses. Yes, sensuality is a big deal in my life. It’s a very important part of me. It’s also a part of what I teach other women.

Yeah. I saw that. That’s amazing and that’s so connected to my body eating too because there are so many women out there who are disconnected from their sensuality, their sexuality. They’re still looking for a partner, or they’re with the wrong person, or they’re with the right person but the fire isn’t there anymore, and so they turn to food. They turn to food for that connection. They turn to food for that love that we were talking about.

When I work with my clients, I have ways to help them connect to that beautiful inner love. What are the ways that you teach to help women who maybe have this void, because they’re not in a relationship, and they want to attract love, or something is missing? There is always a void that creates that type of destructive behavior. How do you teach them to connect to more inner love?

Yoga is a huge part of that. I know in my own personal story, when I was really struggling with binge eating. I was with my current husband. He’s my boyfriend at that time. I was struggling so much with food that I felt like we had to take a break. I told him, “I cannot love you right now because I don’t even love myself.” It literally felt like I hate myself. It was the whole ‘It’s not you, it’s me’ thing, but it was so true and I told him that. I was like, “I cannot love you right now because I don’t even love myself.”

How did he react to that? Was he heartbroken?

Yeah, he was heartbroken and it was the most challenging time of our entire 10 years together. But here we are, we reconnected, and we’ve been married happily for two years now.

That’s awesome.

Yeah. I knew in my heart that I had to create space for self-love in order to heal. I hope that gives any woman that feels like they’re in a similar position, this is a permission to do that. If I wouldn’t have done that, I don’t think we would be together today. If we were still together, I don’t think we would be as happy or as successful as we are.

Yeah. One of the things that I teach is mirror work. It’s from Louise Hay. I love it. Louise said, “When something goes wrong, run to the mirror and say, ‘I love you,’ and when something is right just go and say, ‘I love you,’ and when something is really, really bad say, ‘I love you no matter what,’” like one of my mentors, Dr. Demartini, used to say, “Whatever you did or didn’t do, you are worthy of love.”

Yes, you are worthy because so much we are like, “I don’t feel enough. I’m not enough.” So look in the mirror and say, “I am enough.” Look at yourself in the eyes for a minute and you’ll probably start crying. How often do we actually just look at ourselves? Not only that, but I love mirror work right before I get in the shower, or in the bath, play some music, and you’re naked. It’s really challenging for some women to be fully naked and hang out in their bathroom before they get in the shower or the bathtubs for five minutes. Dance, or move, or just be curious about what you’re seeing, and say positive affirmations yourself. If it’s really hard, start with three minutes and then work your way up.

Another way to feel more embodied is to do hip circles. Really just move your hips and move in curvy ways, because our female bodies are designed to move in curvy ways. One of my mentors, Sheila Kelley, says, “A woman is like an S and a man is like an H. It’s very rigid, and when you go to the gym and you only do gym work out—which is great for you, but it’s not the only thing that you should do for your whole life—you only move in a very linear way.” For a woman, it’s really important to do yoga. I love to do belly dancing. I love to do pole dancing. I mean, I used to do pole dancing. I haven’t done it in a while. It really helped me connect to my sensuality and self-love, and really accept my body the way she is and the way she’s not. Sometimes there are extra pounds, and sometimes my skin is not perfect, and sometimes I am moody. I don’t see myself as I am but through my negative filters. Through that work and through movement, we can release because we have issues in our tissues. When we release that through movement, we are more whole and complete.

Yeah. That is such a great practice to do when you have the urge. When you have the urge to eat and you’re like, “I’m not physically hungry. This is emotional hunger,” get out your door, go on a walk, go downstairs, get on your mat, move your belly, circle around, put a video on. Whatever you need to do, get that energy the heck out of you. Even if it’s 10 minutes, 15 minutes. Afterward, that urge is not there anymore. It’s gone. It wasn’t physical hunger, it was a hunger to connect with yourself. It was a hunger to move your body.

Yeah. I have a very simple example from my cat. I have a very cute cat, but sometimes she can be very needy. She meows for food. She thinks she wants food, but if I’ll just sit with her, hold her, and just caress her a little bit, she’ll be satisfied. She won’t need the food. Even with animals. “Food. Food.” She doesn’t want food, she just wants attention.

All the time. My dog, Molly, is the same way. Animals, they have those natural instincts. I guess they may have emotional hunger, but not quite as much as humans. Of course, we have a lot more to deal with. They get to sleep and lay around all day. It is interesting how animals out in the wild, they’re eating and hunting to survive. They’re kind of always in that survival response.

Food is love. It is an emotional experience. Click To Tweet

Sometimes I feel I’m always in that survival response when I’m hungry or I think about food.

If you’re thinking about food a lot of the time, some good questions to ask are, “Am I eating enough out of my meals?” A lot of times when we’re doing the whole six meals a day or tiny nibbles here and there, we’re not giving ourselves a substantial amount of food like three times a day or whatever works for you. Everyone’s a little different. If you can find a natural eating rhythm that works well for you, and you have a substantial amount of food that’s going to at least hold you over for 4-5 hours hopefully, then you hopefully won’t have to think about food as much. It’s nice to have those meals be balanced in macronutrients. We’re thinking about protein, carbs, and fats. You don’t want to just have carbs at breakfast because then you’re just going to create carbs all day. If you can have more balance between your protein, carbs, fats, and trying to get all three proportions when you’re eating, even your snacks, you can fit in different macronutrients if you had missed them earlier in the day. That was a great strategy for me to find balance, those macronutrients.

My husband is the opposite of me. He can forget to eat all day long. I have to remind him to eat, which is crazy to me.

Men are a lot different than women with food. We have a special relationship with food. It is so different for men and women. I think a lot of men see food as fuel and fuel only. I know after talking with you that you agree with me that food is love.

Food is good.

Yeah, food is amazing. You also don’t want it to be the main pleasure, the main way you’re getting sensuality. If that’s the only way you’re filling those things in your life, then that’s probably why your binge is emotional overeating.

Go get more sex.

Go get more sex, write a please list. What things in life give you pleasure? Riding your bike, being out in nature, painting, doing art.

Having sex.

Having sex, yes. You need to be able to get pleasure from all different sources in your life. If you feel like food is your main source, then if you can integrate some other ways to bring pleasure back into your life, you’re not going to need as much food.

Yeah. What do you think about intermittent fasting? Yay or nay?

If you’re struggling with binge eating, you probably don’t want to do intermittent fasting. I think that intermittent fasting is a great strategy for someone who doesn’t struggle with emotional eating, that hasn’t had that trigger in the past, it’s something that they’re experimenting with to improve their health, and to optimize their well-being. It’s a fun thing to experiment with. I’ve experimented with it before. I don’t do it right now, but it’s not something I would recommend for someone who is struggling with binge or emotional eating.

Yeah. Plus, intermittent fasting is great for men, but sometimes for some women, it can hinder their fertility. Women, be more careful with intermittent fasting and if you’re doing it, maybe have a more gentle breakdown of the hours where it’s not 10 hours of eating. Wait, how many hours are in a day, 24. What are the splits?

I was thinking it was 16.

Yeah, 16 and 8 is what the man will do, but we need more than that. If you’re not eating and you’re on intermittent fasting and you feel like you’re dizzy and your faint, or you’re starting to get moody, that’s your body signaling, “Girl, this is not for you. Be careful.” So, you might want to start with 12 hours of not eating and then increase it to up to 14 hours, but don’t overdo it and really listen to your body.

Right. As far as Ayurvedic principles and the bio circadian rhythm, bio circadian rhythm is when your metabolism follows the sun. Of course, the sun is rising at [6:00] AM to [7:30] AM. If you can eat breakfast as the sun is rising, that’s when your metabolism is kindling the fire right then. You can have a light to moderate breakfast to help kindle the fire, to get it going. When the sun is highest at noon to [1:30], that’s when our metabolism is highest. A lot of people, especially working professionals, skip lunch and then they have huge dinners at night. That’s kind of how it’s done in the western world at least. If you could actually eat your biggest meal during lunch because that’s when you’re using your most energy, that’s when your metabolism is burning at its highest, so then you’re eating that at the peak of the day. After that, your metabolism starts to go down with the sun. When you feel that [2:00] to [3:00] slump, it’s natural. It’s a natural thing. It’s because the sun is going down. Instead of eating this huge meal at night, we really should be having a lighter dinner, because what are we doing after dinner usually? We’re hanging out with family. We’re reading a book. We’re taking a bath, doing our cleansing rituals. Whatever it may be, we’re not using that many calories. We’re not burning that much energy. We’re trying to shut down our brains not rise and back up. That’s what I like to think about is the bio circadian rhythm and letting your metabolism follow the sun.

You need to be able to get pleasure from all different sources in your life. If you can integrate some other ways to bring pleasure back into your life, you’re not going to need as much food.

Nice. What are some of your rituals and what do you eat in a day?

I have a yoga room at home. I practice yoga a lot at home and it just depends on my schedule during the day when that does happen. I do like to spend the first hour of my day with myself with a cup of coffee, or a cup of tea, listening to music, I’ll get ready for the day. I intentionally try to have a slow morning and not start working until about [8:30] AM or [9:00] AM. As far as food, I’m not following a specific plan, a specific diet. This week I’ve been on avocado toast. I haven’t had it for a while and now I’m back on it. I love to sprinkle sea salt and turmeric on top of my avocado toast. You all should try it. It’s really good. I love making smoothies. I use dōTERRA’s protein powder and I use essential oils a lot. I love to cook. A lot of my meals are at home. I actually just got an instant pot. That’s been fun to experiment with and make some instant pot meals.

I got an instant pot and I never used it. Shame on me.

I used mine right away, because I’ve heard that the instant pot will just sit in your pantry if you don’t take it out of the box. Yeah, I really enjoyed that. I love making homemade soups. I love cooking with broth, chicken broth, bone broth. No foods are off limits for me. I do know just from experimenting, I guess, and I have done some food testing as well, dairy doesn’t do well with me. So I limit my dairy but I still have some. That’s about it. I love food. I’m just like you. I probably eat dark chocolate almost every day. I’ll give myself permission to have a couple of squares of dark chocolate every day if I want it.

I like dates. They’re superfoods and actually, they won’t raise your blood sugar. It’s been proven. They’re so full of vitamins and minerals and this is a good dessert alternative.

Yeah. Those are great to eat right before you give birth, right?

Is it?

Yes. I’ve heard that and I actually just had a client. She’s eating six dates a day and she’s on her third trimester. She’s like, “It’s awesome.”

That’s cool. Awesome. I loved our conversation. I’m sure we can talk forever, but before we finish for today, what are your three top tips to living a stellar life?

Three top tips to live a stellar life. Number one is start journaling. Write your thoughts down, ask yourself questions, get clear on what you want, what you want, why you want it, how it’s going to make you feel, and what are the action stuffs that you can go take to get it. Number two, surround yourself with positive people and positive environment, because you are who you hang around, and you are where you live. If you’re not living where you want to be living and it’s not supporting you, what can you do to make that change to be in a physical environment that supports you? And number three, put yourself first. This is so hard to do especially as a coach, and as a woman. Taking care of other people is just part of my nature for sure. It’s something that I’m still learning that if I put myself first, if I take care of myself first, then I’m going to be able to better take care of other people. I’m going to be able to better show up for my clients, my husband, my family, my friends, by putting myself first, and really embodying who I want to be.

Men are a lot different than women with food. Men see food as fuel, but women see food as love. Click To Tweet

Beautiful. If people want to reach you and learn from you, where can they find you? I also know that you have a special offer for our listeners.

I do. My website is hungryoga.com and that’s the same for Instagram and Facebook. Those are the two main platforms that I’m on. I also have free yoga challenges through YouTube and that’s all under the same hungryoga. All the details are there and they can actually get the pricing right there.

Yes. It’s going to be in the show notes as well. Thank you so much, Macy, and it was a pleasure having you here.

Thank you. It was so much fun. This is the fastest hour ever.

Thank you and thank you, listeners. Eat well, live well, love yourself, love your body, and live a stellar life. Until next time.

Your Checklist of Actions to Take

✓ Don’t be too hard on yourself. Aim for a great physique but cut yourself some slack if a cheat meal is the only thing that will make you feel better.
✓ Stop labeling food as “good” or “bad”. Putting what you eat into moral categories is not helpful. Food is food, and some types of food are simply more nutritious. Eating what you please in moderation will help you avoid binging.  
✓ Talk to yourself the way you would talk to a good friend. Negative words will do nothing but bring you down. Encouraging words will motivate you to keep going.
✓ Accept that your body is an amazing shapeshifter. It will move through many different phases as it goes through the journey of life with you. Prioritize taking care of yourself physically but let go of the things you cannot control.
✓ Don’t focus too much on food or let it take over your life. It’s not just food that affects your weight. When you focus on other activities that make you feel good about yourself, you’ll stop thinking about food so much.
✓ Be patient with yourself. Understand that it takes time to heal. Take small steps towards your goal rather than going cold turkey and cutting back on everything that you binge eat on at once.
✓ Eat slowly. Binge eating is usually a result of quick emotional outbursts that block rational thinking. Eating slowly allows you to reevaluate your choices so you can stop a binge before it starts.  
✓ Exercise or do something active every day. Physical activity can help take your mind off food and beat your cravings for sugar and other less nutritional items.
✓ Find a natural eating rhythm that works best for you. When you do eat, ensure that you have a substantial amount of food that can last you four to five hours without hunger cravings.
✓ Start learning the principles of eating psychology with Macy Graham so that you can develop a healthy relationship and habit with food.

Links and Resources

About Macy Graham

Macy Graham is an online yoga teacher, mind body eating coach, and lifestyle designer at hungryoga. She helps women resolve their eating challenges and transform that power into creating a life and career they love.

 

 

 

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